The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Carrie Halperin

POLITICAL GRIDLOCK ABC News' Arlette Saenz: " President Obama Blames Political Gridlock on 'Hyper-Partisanship,' Rush Limbaugh" President Obama blamed part of the political gridlock in Washington, D.C., on "hyper-partisanship" while speaking at a fundraiser attended by Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel in New York City Monday afternoon, saying some Republicans worry too much about the reaction of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. LINK

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE The Hills' Bernie Becker: " Political storm bursts over IRS" The White House and top lawmakers from both parties on Monday called for broad investigations of the IRS as the scandal surrounding its admission of singling out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny deepened. The response from both parties - and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue - illustrated how few in Washington want to be seen as defending the IRS, an agency unpopular with the public even on its best days. LINK

The New York Daily News' James Warren: " President Obama calls reports that the IRS targeted conservative organizations for extra scrutiny 'outrageous'" President Obama voiced outrage Monday by reports that the Internal Revenue Service singled out conservative organizations for extra scrutiny of their tax exempt status. He said anyone responsible should be held "fully accountable." LINK

The Washington Times' Susan Crabtree: " Obama waits for probe before condemning IRS; Congress pounces" While President Obama said Monday that he is withholding judgment on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups, angry congressional leaders from both parties aren't waiting - they plan to begin hearings on the matter this week. The president, speaking during a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, said it would be "outrageous" and "contrary to our traditions" if IRS personnel "engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on." LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA / IRS The New York Times' Michael Shear and Jonathan Weisman: " Obama Dismisses Benghazi Furor but Assails I.R.S." President Obama, facing re-energized Republican adversaries and new questions about the administration's conduct, on Monday dismissed a furor over the handling of last year's attacks in Benghazi, Libya, as a political "sideshow" but joined a bipartisan chorus of outrage over disclosures that the Internal Revenue Service had singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny. LINK

The Washington Post's Scott Wilson: " A Frustrated Obama in reaction mode as IRS actions, Benghazi undermine his agenda" There was a guiding principle early in President Obama's first term that in Washington it is always better to be pitching than catching. The stimulus bill, the bank and auto industry bailouts, Wall Street regulation, health-care legislation, Muslim outreach abroad - the first two years featured Obama as pitcher. But now, as the clearly frustrated president revealed Monday, he finds himself in the position of catcher. Events and the web of questions surrounding them are forcing the president to respond, often defensively and sometimes angrily, at a time when he would rather be setting the terms of the country's political conversation. LINK

Politico's Jake Sherman and Lauren French: " Scandal politics sweep Capitol Hill" Scandal politics are sweeping Capitol Hill. Just days after news broke that the IRS targeted conservative nonprofits, Speaker John Boehner's House committees will morph into mock courtrooms where the White House will be the defendant in what amounts to a number of high-stakes political trials. The most recent scandal to grip the Obama administration came Monday evening, when The Associated Press disclosed that the Justice Department sought its reporters' phone records - including those of correspondents who sit in the Capitol. LINK

USA Today's John D. McKinnon: " With IRS, Benghazi and AP, is Obama under siege?" President Obama found himself in the unusual position on Monday of echoing GOP outrage over revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted Tea Party groups, while slamming his adversaries for creating "a sideshow" for reviving a long simmering imbroglio over his administration's response to last year's attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya. LINK

BENGHAZI The Los Angeles Times' Kathleen Hennessey: " Obama dismisses Benghazi criticism as 'sideshow'" A defiant President Obama dismissed as a "sideshow" the controversy over his administration's handling of last year's armed assault in Benghazi, Libya, accusing critics of trying to make political hay from the deaths of four Americans. "We dishonor them when we turn things like this into a political circus," Obama told reporters Monday. LINK

GAY MARRIAGE Bloomberg's Esme Deprez: " Minnesota Senate Sends Gay Marriage Measure to Dayton" Minnesota's Senate approved same-sex marriage, sending the measure to Governor Mark Dayton, whose signature would make his the 12th U.S. state where gays can wed. The state's upper chamber, led by Democrats, voted 37-30 in St. Paul today on the bill, which would take effect Aug. 1. The Democratic-led House approved it last week. Dayton, a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, has said people have a constitutional right to marry those they love. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS "Obama, Cameron Hope for Russian Pressure on Assad" LINK

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